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There are three schools of thought on this topic. One is to do nothing, cross your fingers, and see what you get. In areas where the real estate market is hot, many home sellers opt for this solution, because they think buyers are so desperate that they’ll make an offer anyway. And while you may get an offer, you’ll definitely leave a lot of money on the table in the process.

The second school is to recognize that some items need to be replaced or repaired, and offer buyers a credit for those items as part of the deal. You’ve saved yourself the work, but not the money. This option can actually be worse than the first one, because you don’t know how much you would have gotten without offering the credit. Again, you’ll eventually get an offer, but you’re missing out on getting the best price for your house.

If getting the best price for your house is important to you, the only option is to take care of repairs and do the work to make your house shine (or have it done for you). Here’s why: When you sell your home with obvious repairs left undone or a credit as part of the offer, you’re sending a message to buyers that your home has not been well maintained. Now this may or may not be true, but that’s the message that’s sent. And that will drag down the value of your home to those making an offer.

If you go to the effort to make the fixes yourself, you send the message that your home is well maintained. And (this is big) you also upgrade the value of those items you just replaced because they’re new…New carpet, New roof, New hot water heater… “New” has a value to buyers—that’s why new homes cost more than resale.

Putting your own sweat equity into repairs, taking advantage of zero percent financing at the big box home improvement stores, and utilizing a handyman for certain repairs will help keep your costs in check. Be smart about how you make repairs, and be careful not to over-improve. Your efforts could result in getting thousands more for your home. Compare your time against the reward and you’ll see it’s time well spent.

Comments

magicmarmot
Feb. 17th, 2006 10:52 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Ooooh!


a mini-bike.


Thank you, I'll be here all night.

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